#WorldDiabetesDay: 15 facts you should know about the disease

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Diabetes describes a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both. Here are some major facts about the disease.

  1. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a lack of insulin production and type 2 diabetes results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin.
  2. Before 1921, the treatment of choice for type 2 diabetes was starvation or semi-starvation.
  3. About one-third of all people with diabetes do not know they have the disease.
  4. Type 2 diabetes often does not have any symptoms and it accounts for around 90% of all diabetes worldwide.
  5. If you are at risk, type 2 diabetes can be prevented with moderate weight loss (10–15 pounds) and 30 minutes of moderate physical activity (such as brisk walking) each day.

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  6. A meal plan for a person with diabetes isn’t very different than that which is recommended for people without diabetes.

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  7. Reports of type 2 diabetes in children – previously rare – have increased worldwide. In some countries, it accounts for almost half of newly diagnosed cases in children and adolescents.
  8. People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop heart disease than someone without diabetes.
  9. Good control of diabetes significantly reduces the risk of developing complications and prevents complications from getting worse.
  10. Most Children Who Get Diabetes Aren’t Fat

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  11. India is the diabetes capital of the world. The country has around 50 million people suffering from the type-2 diabetes
  12. Diabetes costs $174 billion annually, including $116 billion in direct medical expenses.
  13. The major cause of increase in the incidence of diabetes is a sedentary lifestyle.

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  14. You have control over many of the factors that influence diabetes. Make water your primary beverage, cut sugar, eat high-fibre diet and work out.
  15. Nigeria has the highest burden of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa



World Health Organisation: Fact Sheet on Diabetes

Joslin Diabetes Centre

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